Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Uncategorized

Cruiseday Tuesday – Cruise year resolutions

This is the year you’ll go cruising… now you’ve said it there’s no going back.

It’s never been cheaper according to our friends at Click&Go http://www.clickandgo.com.

They reported a 23% increase in 2019 with prices down by €136pp year on year.

Most popular destinations are Barcelona, Copenhagen and Palma.IMG_4161All of which I know a thing or two about…

https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/ and The call of the fjords. The most popular month for cruising is October, followed by September and November. And seeing that our wedding anniversary is September and I only went and worked on our 25th then I probably owe her big!

Keepers of the Flam

35D95376-E141-409C-9808-6C9617E55E57.JPGMy father-in-law taught Casey Jones all he knew.

And then passed it onto his daughter, often at the end of a wind and rain-splattered platform.

Copying down train numbers.

Which is why we keep finding ourselves seeking out all manner of train-related nonsense when we’re away.

A lot of which is pretty good it must be said.

Such as Flam Railway in Norway on our MSC www.msccruises.ie trip up the fjords.fjord_boat.jpgOf course dipping our toes in the fjords only left us wanting to submerge ourselves in the whole country.

Travel Department will complete the odyssey with Oslo as well as Bergen which I’ll be only too happy to revisit.

So you’ll cruise (let’s make that we’ll) along the UNESCO World Heritage site of Naeroyfjord.

You’ll see the glaciers and waterfalls of the former Viking stomping ground of Hardangerfjord.

And stand on a mountain top to take in the Eidfjord.

Naeroyfjord.jpg

Before you enjoy the Flam Railway, one of the world’s most besutiful and steepest normal-gauge railway lines.

It was foggy when we went (it won’t be when you go) so we couldn’t see those mischievous trolls!

Prices start from €1569pp for seven nights including return flights.

B&B/half-board accommodation, guided excursions, a fjord cruise and a Flam railway journey.

Depart April-October 2020. Visit www.traveldepartment.ie.

Cruise with my first love

You’d think after 30 years she’d know me better.

That’ll be my first Travel love, TUI, whose newspaper branch I started this scribbling.

Or perhaps they know me too well with their list of five Travel New Year Resolutions they have set for me this year.

So they suggest that I do this:

Explore somewhere new. Tick.

Be more prepared. Mmmm… I thought that’s what you had people for!!!

Eliminate the stress. See above.

Pack smarter. Now, I am ahead of the eight-ball here having only taken on hand luggage, a rucksack, to go to Tobago.

Try it, you don’t need that DJ or cocktail dress, or full kilt.

Look your best. Again one change of clothes and the washing facilities of where you stay.

Or take something that you can leave and exchange for some clothes you buy,

11So we’re all prepared let’s go cruising.

TUI is offering a saving of €200 per booking for seven nights in an inside cabin with Spanish Delights from Cork to Majorca on the Marella Dream. 

From €1,079. Use code CRUISE200. For sailings from May-October 2020.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS 

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Holiday Snaps – Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad!

And that’s all you need for a grande old Spanish Christmas party.

The Christmas party season is upon us and I toasted it with fine Spanish white and red vino in Dublin.

I was, of course, one of nearly two million visitors from Ireland to Spain this year.

When I walked hill, glen, park, volcano and church tower in Tenerife with http://www.CanariaWays.comhttps://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk.

And I fully intend to be one of the two million going back out next year.

Thankfully our travel providers are all over Spain too so we bring you these offers out there.

I did, of course, also visit Barcelona https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/

But I’m not getting into that one here and say that I love Catalonia and Spain.

Click & Go http://www.clickandgo.com has a three-night Barcelona City Break for two adults with flights from Dublin from €231pp on February 4.

You’ll be staying at the Catalonia Born hotel which is within easy reach of the Arco del Triunfo and the Picasso Museum.

If you like your art then your in the right country.

And you’ll be with the right company with Insight Vacations’ Highlights of Spain nine-dayer on March 14 which is down from €1795pps to €1580pps.

Our friends at Insight have picked out as their particular highlight the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings.

Plus an impressive foreign collection at the Prado Museum.

And you’ll also be wowed by Granada and the Alhambra Palace while you’ll also get Barcelona again.

Peniscola is best known from El Cid (ask your parents) while Valencia’s huge gates to the old town are the perfect welcome.

Aer we go

Seville’s showstopper is the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings and Cordoba with its 2,000-year-old bridge.

And keep your eyes on our airlines for the best deals and organise your own holiday.

I’m picking out Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.com and their Santiago de Compostela offer of from €39.99 from Dublin.

The Camino into Santiago will be one of the journeys of your life.

And here’s how it went for me with http://www.CaminoWays.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/camino-a-pilgrims-prayer/

While they fly from Cork to Gran Canaria from €69,99 and to Lanzarote from €69.99 and from Shannon to Lanzarote from €69.99.

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Holiday Snaps – Black Effing Friday

Thirty years working to a deadline and Black Friday can feel like a pressure I don’t need. Which is why I’ve latched onto Click&Go… http://www.clickandgo.com.

Who see the day as a springboard for their offers.

I dipped my toe again in Barcelona’s waters this year, 17 years after my first foray there.

And I found Christopher Columbus, arms open, just as welcome as ever.

Click&Go has three nights in the 4* Onix Ceo Hotel with return flights from Dublin from €189pp. For Travel in January.

And when you go you must pop into this restaurant, just off La Rambla, http://www.myfuckingrestaurant.com . And find out more about Barcelona with http://www.barcelonatourisme.com.

As I did… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/ or https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/30/hes-from-barcelona/

Of course Chris has been America’s longest-running cheerleader and points out in that direction from his plinth in La Rambla.

Though like a certain Travel blogger we know and love his sense of direction wasn’t great.

Because he fell on America when he was trying to get to India while this statue doesn’t direct you there at all.

We know our way there and know to go with Click&Go.

Photo by TheUknownPhotographer on Pexels.com

They have three nights in a double room in the 4* Row NYC Hotel in New York. With return flights from Dublin to New York.

From €499pp based on two people sharing for Travel in January.

And if you’ve got tickets for Hamilton can you give me your contact? In return I give you http://www.nycvb.com.

If not you can still see Hamilton all round town… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/

We’ve got American friends of my favourite cousin who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland which is really the outskirts of Washington DC in town so I’m off to talk America.

I will report back and until then enjoy your Black Friday deals and…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Cruiseday Tuesday – Stena and Wales

And because one day is never enough I’m tempted to introduce a Thank God it’s Ferryday too.

To shoehorn in news from our friends from Stena www.stenaline.ie.

Who have taken possession of Stena Estrid from the yard in China.

Which is now on its way over to Ireland.

To sail the Dublin to Holyhead route next year.

It was poignant to see the Hong Kong-based Reverend Stephen Miller, of the Mission to Seafarers, bless the ship.

And here’s hoping that someone is listening to his prayers too for the plight of Hong Kong.

Black Friday

Black Friday is all about the sales (sorry, sails).

And Travel Department www.traveldepartment.ie is offering:

€75pp off River Cruises departing next year.

Use promo code VP-BLACKRIVER.

€50pp off any holiday of seven nights or more.

Use promo code VP-BLACK50.

€25pp off any holiday of six nights or less.

Use promo code VP-BLACK25.

The offers are available until December 2.

Liberty on the seas

Photo by TheUknownPhotographer on Pexels.com

It’s how my emigrating Donegal uncles first saw America… on a big ship.

You can upgrade, and deserve it, on the Cunard Queen Mary.

Click and Go www.clickandgo.com have a 14-night New York Fly/Cruise. Stay from €1599pp.

Two of my favourite places in the world… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ and Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

And after pushing my blood pressure up booking return Ryanair flights Dublin-London I’m getting ready for Tobago next month.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

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Holiday Snaps – Berlin Walls and Philly Bells

I’m indebted to reader Mark Konig @_markkoenig for his comments on my thoughts on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In my blog https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/11/10/when-the-berlin-wall-came-crashing-down/

Mark questioned ‘how could the Walll be a symbol of USSR?’

And, yes. it is important to say that this was the GDR and that the greater political bloc was the Soviet-driven Warsaw Pact.

Berlin fixture: The Brandenburg Gate Photo by Adrien Olichon on Pexels.com

Mark also rightly pointed out that I had focused merely on the exodus to the West through Hungary and that I had missed a lot of history/change before.

And he helpfully pointed me in the direction of http://www.the-berlin-wall.com for video clips and chronology on the key dates and events leading up to the Fall of the Wall.

Like I always say the best way to find out about a city, country, resort is to listen to the people on the ground… and to go there!

Dresden history: Ingrid and I

Like I did in Dresden where Ingrid led me by the nose… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/

If you want to know more about Berlin then put yourself in the hands of Click & Go http://www.clickandgo.com who are offering a City Break from €159pp in January.

Philly state of mind

What a cracker: Liberty Bell in Philly

I’m an impatient old sod.

Which is a bit off when I ask you to be so patient while I go off on all manner of tangents.

Which I did when I went to Washington DC for the American Travel Fair, IPW 2017 http://www.ipw.com,

And I also had a day out to hit Philadelphia.

Knowing I would only have half a dozen hours there I kept looking at my watch as I stood in the queue.

And I regaled the driver with my compelling need to make up time on the road when he eventually got going.

It wasn’t as if the Bell was going anywhere.

But I was as excited as an American Literature and History grad I was as excited as a kid at Christmas.

Rocky and Jocky: In Philly

It was crackin’…

And I also got bristly with the locals.

When I asked that they didn’t take the flag down at the Town Hall until I’d taken a selfie.

The answer is to spend longer there and Cassidy Travel http://www.cassidytravel.ie agree…

Flag happy: In Old Philly

They’ve got a three-night stopover in Philadephia in March from €825pp.

You’ll be staying in the 4* Home2 Suites by Hilton Convention Center.

Before jetting to the Big Apple for three nights in the 4* New Yorker Hotel.

Its Midtown West location puts you in the heart of Manhattan, just steps from Times Square.

There’s always something new in New York https://www.nycvb.com… and old https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/

New York, Old York

Flight from Dublin departs 6 March. Call Cassidy Travel on 01 8786888 or book in one of their nine stores across Dublin.

Card happy

Also check out the City pass in Philly and New York… https://www.citypass.com/philadelphia and https://www.citypass.com/new-york

Mark and the rest of you, who I value more than any other Blogger out there will have noticed that this Holiday Snaps is on a Thursday.

Rather than a weekend.

Well, there’s so much out there I thought I’d snap to it and bring you more snaps whenever and wherever.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Cruiseday Tuesday – the naked truth

I was a more attractive proposition than the previous candidate for the spare room in the girls’ Belfast home – I promised to keep my clothes on.

The guy before me was a naturist.

The thing is that naturism depends on everybody being in on it,

Now there is every type of cruise on the planet so you won’t be surprised to hear that there is one as well for naturists… https://cruisebare.com.

I‘m breathing in: On board Oasis of the Seas

Though I was and am indebted to my friends at Lonely Planet http://www.lonelyplanet.com for putting me onto this.

Not that I’m going to suggest it to The Scary One.

Although it does look as if it has a plus side in that you never have to worry about getting into your penguin suit or cocktail dress to sit at the captain’s table.

I’m not even going to ask if that’s a thing on this cruise ship.

I usually like to keep my clothes on when I go cruising.

Although I was almost caught with my pants down from the surf simulator FlowRider on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas in Barcelona. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/

Drink Canaria dry

As you’ll all know by now I spent a thoroughly enjoyable few days walking, talking, swallowing and swallying in Tenerife with www.CanariaWays.com.

And I will be compiling it all in a grown-up article.

Tenerife calling

However you get there, get to Tenerife.

TUI is offering Marella Cruises on the Explorer, inside cabin, all-inclusive seven nights from €995pps. http://www.tui.ie.

It just clicks

Now Click&Go http://www.clickandgo.com are a mighty fine holiday provider and will feel genuinely proud of picking up their Best Cruise performance for Rest of the World from Royal Caribbean at an awards ceremony in Waterford.

But there’s no point in me being modest. I’m thinking that my performance at a particular Karaoke bar of Chuck Berry’s Memphis, Tennessee would surely deserve at least joint billing.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

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Holiday Snaps – Is it Pee for Prague?

It is one of the world’s great statues and on a similar theme to the better known Manneken Pis in Brussels – the Prague statue ‘Piss’.

You’ll no doubt go to the Astronomical Clock when you’re there and it is worth it, although hellishly busy.

But you should have a ‘Piss’ stop at the statue outside the Kafka Museum near the river.

David Cerny erected (sorry, I should probably say built here) ‘Piss’ as a satirical statement against politicians in 2004.

The fountain’s basin is made of bronze and shaped like the Czech Republic.

The two mechanical men stand in the fountain, opposite one another, 6 ft 11 in tall with bronze penises, urinating.

Every country should have its own Piss statue and demand that politicians visit.

And why am I telling you this? Because Click&Go has three nights in Prague in November from €189pp http://www.clickandgo.com.

And also because I can reprise my Prague article… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/24/czech-it-out-2/

Corfu love island

Refelections of Corfu. Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

I was spoken for, but that didn’t stop the keyboard singer at the bar who was glancing our way on our honeymoon in Corfu.

The besotted newly titled Mrs M drew my attention to the singer’s attentions.

With the ouzo filling my bladder I then had cause to pass the crooner by on the way to the rest room .

Where I noticed they were still smiling at me on my way back.

At which point I needed to inform my new wife: ‘Sorry, he’s not looking at you, it’s me he likes!’

Again, I’m only telling you this as a lead-in to an offer. TUI http://www.tui.com has seven nights S/C at the 2* Ekati 2, Kavos from €399pps, departing Dublin on September 13.

Which corresponds with our 25th wedding anniversary.

I love Malta

Bay of plenty: Valletta. Photo by ines bahr on Pexels.com

You’d think that there was an imaginary hand of fate at play… or that the Scary One has been phoning around my Travel buddies.

Malta was where on a hot, hot day, I bent down in exhaustion and she screamed YES.

We were particularly taken by Malta’s smaller sister island of Gozo.

Now I’m going to fly a kite here and suggest that the Scary One would like to return. And fly a kite…

The second edition of the Gozo International Kite and Wind Festival will take place there form October 18-20.

Concorde Travel http://www.concordetravel.ie has seven nights B&B at the 4* Seashells Resort, Qawra for €599, depart Dublin on October 14.

Or you can depart Cork on October 17 and stay at the 4* all-inclusive Seabank Resort & Spa, Mellieha for €769.

And they’re off

The Prancing Horse. Photo by Zachary DeBottis on Pexels.com

It was from my Dear Old Dad that I inherited the love of sport. That said neither of us got motor racing.

Apart from commonly repeated allusion I never heard him show any interest in the sport, and I use that term loosely.

The one reference point he had was in his common jibe at my Mum’s driving: ‘Stirling Moss,’ he would shriek and laugh uproariously.

He always enjoyed his own jokes, though my sainted Mum never did see the funny side.

As Formula 1 returns after its midseason break and Lewis Hamilton has a procession to his 72nd title it’s as well to flag up a motor racing holiday thrill.

Cassidy Travel http://www.cassidytravel.ie/ (01) 6265100 has a three-night break to PortAventura World Salou. And of course Ferrari Land.

From €245pps based on a family of four you will be staying on site in the 4* PortAentura World Salou on a B&B basis.

With entry to the theme park for the duration plus one day in Ferrari Land.

Flights from Dublin to Barcelona, part October 20.

I’ll drink Canarian dry

I’m coming up behind you!

God being good, I’ll be off to trek the Canaries tomorrow. But I’ll leave you in safe hands with Mrs M.

The CaminoWays.com team is launching the latest arrival to its family of active holidays and I’m road testing it and Tenerife’s bars.

 CanariaWays.com is focusing on the spectacular walking tours in the Canary Islands.

And to kick it al off they’ve got 10% off all bookings until the end of September using the CODE: CANARIAWAYS19.

And all bookings will go into a draw and two travellers will have a chance to get their holiday for free.

So let me tell you about their ten-day Walking Trip: Grand Walking Tour of Tenerife.

You’ll see the whole island, from Mount Teide National Park to Garachico and Anaga Rural Park.

The price is €1017pps, including nine nights’ accommodation with breakfast, luggage transfers and transfers to trail heads when needed.

As well as holiday pack with practical information. More details: Tenerife Grand Tour.

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Cruiseday Tuesday – Alaska, I’ll ask her

I always get a thrill when I hear of people cruising for the first time.

And before I forget to get angry I’m reclaiming that word ‘cruising’ which has come to mean something else.

My old friends Dougie and Julie are floating around the western Med at the moment and the last time I checked they were in northern Italy. Bella, Bella.

Every sailing though will inevitably be compared with a round-the-world trip for my very own Scary One.

Who came back as a kid from Australia on a working ship.

It doesn’t sound like much work was done though and she was supposed to have been schooled on board.

But all she tells me about are parties, particularly the Neptune and the Equator one. And going through the Panama Canal.

Ice one: Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

She does though harbour a dream of Alaska.

Which brings me to Sunway’s Seattle Stay & Alaska Fly Cruise with Norwegian Bliss.

From €2,099pp with two pre-nights stay in Seattle and Aer Lingus flights. Check out details on http://www.sunway.ie.

It’s nine nights from September 20. And I haven’t sorted out our 25th Wedding Anniversary treat yet.

Round the world

Talking about global peregrinations look out for some news on same next week from Viking http://www.vkingcruises.co.uk.

Don’t worry, I won’t be leaving you to go on a round the world cruise. Unless, of course they ask.

Encore MSC

Souk it up: Morocco. Photo by Zakaria Boumliha on Pexels.com

My friends have chosen just the right people to dip their toes into the cruise water… MSC. I predict they’ll go back for more.

MSC, who brought me and the Scary One to the fjords https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/ have just the right balance between a treat and a relaxed vibe.

They have an 11-night Mediterranean Fly & Cruise on MSC Opera from €799pps which is exclusive to Click&Go http://www.clickandgo.com from November 30.

So you’ll take in Rome, Genoa, Malaga, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Morocco, Cartagena in Spain and then back to the Eternal City.

Christmas on the river

Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every day.

And in a shop in my old stomping ground of Edinburgh, on the Royal Mile, it was.

And guess what? As you would expect the man who is most associated with December 25, sent them a letter which was proudly displayed at the front.

Yes. Cliff.

If you like an oul’ Christmas Market (misseltoe and wine) then Cassidy Travel has a Rhine River cruise, stopping off at the Christmas markets of Rudesheim, Koblenz and Koln.

It’s part of their first dedicated Christmas Markets brochure which I’ll bring you more on.

Bur for now, the Rhine cruise in December is from €759 which includes flights from Dublin. http://www.cassidytravel.ie.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

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Holiday Snaps – Biarritz

Right, the world’s leaders aren’t going to stay in a caravan park but I do heartily agree with the G7’s choice of Biarritz.

In a former life, and former newspaper, when I had to compete with others (the cheek of it!) to be picked to go on a travel trip, I landed Biarritz.

The newspaper’s system, as far as I could figure it out, was that the first one to reply was rewarded, though I suspect that quality control came into play too.

It went down though like a fart at a funeral among the women in the office that I was being sent to a Thalassotherapy Centre for some water-based spa pampering.

Water everywhere: At the Sofitel

The Hotel Spa Biarritz Le Miramar – Sofitel is where you should go when you’re in town.

And I fancy that The Donald, The Boris, the Emmanuel and The Justin all like a pandering.

I’ve also got a soft spot for The Angela and have been concerned to see her shaking, so she certainly deserves some spoiling.

You too can avail of some treats, and God knows, you deserve it.

Jump in: The Sofitel, Biarritz

I can still feel the seaweed wraps and a shiver goes down my back thinking back on the water hosing I got from the assistant.

The previous time I’d been hosed down was by a life guard in a swimming baths in Glasgow for messing about.

Biarritz by the sea with its iconic lighthouse, and at the gateway to the Pyrenees, is from €208 per night with an Energy Vitality Stopover. https://www.thalassa.com/gb/spa-hotel/2049-biarritz-le-miramar-sofitel.html.

Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com flies to Biarritz one-way from €19.99.

I doubt The Donald is on board. But I dare say that if he is and got the winning scratch card that he would share the winnings.

Or not.

Biarritz is in the Basque Country and it is worth heading further afield to see its charms. I did, taking in Lourdes as well https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-lourdes-prayer-pyrenees/

Turkish pipes of prace

At the crossroads: The Bosphorus in Istanbul

There are some things that will scar your kids… seeing their Dad smoking a Shisha pipe is one.

It’s not as if they put any drugs in it, or at least I think they didn’t, more of a sweet-smelling tobacco. Still impressionable seven-year-old minds and all that.

Bodrum in Turkey was perhaps my favourite of our family holidays, possibly on account of the Turks making a fuss of our Ally (like Ali, they said).

And our Laurie befriending Shannon.

And me taking second place in the talent contest, doing a Highland jig in my kilt.

Click&Go has half-board Turkey holidays among a clutch of great offers.

A seven-night stay at the 4* Ambrosia Hotel from €399pps. Travel in October. With return flights from Dublin to Bodrum. http://www.clickandgo.com.

And if you’re looking for another Turkish treat my Istanbul trip this summer is in today’s Irish Sun.

While I’ve also got another version on the site here https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/wham-bam-thank-you-hamam/

A walk in Kerry

Plush: The Rose Hotel

I do hope the PR woman who was taking her first media group on what was then the inaugural Swansea-Cork Ferries trip was not put off by us all getting sea-sick.

And continued with her career.

It proved a thoroughly enjoyable introduction for another tyro, me, into the world of travel and Press groups.

Not least because it also included the use of Citroen cars for a spin around the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.

These days, mainly because The Scary One has taken the wheel. I prefer to walk.

And that’s not because she throws me out of the car.

I’m off to Tenerife next month and am also trekking in Austria.

The beautiful Dingle Peninsula

And that means I won’t be able to avail of this intriguing walk in Kerry.

Courtesy of The Rose Hotel in Tralee this is a Walking Weekend organised for September 27 and 28.

Check in on the Friday evening and on Saturday guests will join Wild Water Adventures on a guided walk with a choice of three routes.

The Dingle Way (Easy 2.5 hours), Loch a Duin Valley (Moderate 4.5 hours) or Mount Brandon (Strenuous 6 hours).

The Walking Weekend package costs €160pp.

It includes two nights accommodation with dinner on one evening, guided walk, packed lunch and transport.

To book or for further enquires please contact The Rose Hotel visit www.therosehotel.com.

A little bit of sunny Scotland

Scotland, Barbados: Dwayne and I

I love finding Scotland abroad… in the world’s place names.

Here I am in sunny Scotland (obviously not the original) in Barbados.

Equally I have travelled in other lands where my Scottish forbears have gone before.

The Deep South of the US has a rich Scottish history with Ben Lomond and Banff revealing its Caledonian links.

But you can be deceived. Nevis in the Caribbean has no connection with Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis.

The Caribs first tried out Ouailie (Land Of Beautiful Water) while the early British settlers called the island Dulcina (Sweet Island).

Until they settled on Nevis from the Spanish Nuestra Senora de las Nievas (Our Lady of the Snows).

Does it even snow there though?

Tropical Sky www.tropicalsky.ie has savings of up to €1,200pp on seven-night stays at the 5* Nisbet Plantation Beach Club.

For travel completed before December 19, if booked before August 31.

The holiday now costs from €1,899pp. Includes return flight from Dublin.

Irie, let’s reprise some Caribbean adventures… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

It’s Scary… Halloween hooks

Exotic: Thailand. Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

You wouldn’t immediately associate Thailand with Halloween, it’s just that our holiday providers like to link dates and places.

In fact it isn’t Buddhist and Halloween is a Christian festival, but being Buddhist they do channel the spirits.

And go for miniature spirit houses outside their homes and businesses where they present gifts to their forefathers.

Emirates Holidays www.emiratesholidays.com is offering a ‘fangtastic’ (their words) seven nights at the 4* Santhiya, Koh Yao Yai from €3,729 per family.

That’s two adults, two children (under 11 sharing).

Including return flights from Dublin. Depart October 26.

Me, I’m a practising Boozist!

Malta pleasers

In neighbouring Gozo

It’s getting around to that time of year again when I made the besotted Miss F the happiest woman in the world.

I bent down to tie my shoelaces in Malta and she shrieked YES.

My pal, the multi-award winning Travel blogger Tom Sweeney www.tomsweeneytravels.blogspot.com, advises slip-ons.

Budget Travel www.budgettravel.ie has seven-night holidays in 4* accommodation with flights from Dublin and Cork with prices from €419pp.

Depart October. And for a refresher on all that Malta has to offer read my https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/malta-easer/.

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Holiday Snaps – Post-exam hols

I’m glad that’s all over – the Post-Leaving Cert holidays.

By the time it got to my two the destinations had changed.., it was Lisbon and Amsterdam.

For me and my buddies it was camping in the French Riviera. And, no, of course it wasn’t Cannes.

But St Raphael.

The boys of ’82: Chris, Martin, Bandanaman and Adam

And yes, I’ve had to add that to the list of places I’m banned from.

Castle Douglas, the Lowenbrau and Hofbrau Huis in Munich, Kirchberg in Austria and a hotel in Interlaken, Switzerland spring to mind.

Of course your guys will have booked their richly-deserved hols by now.

But this just gives me the chance to flag up the French Riviera.

Which doesn’t have to cost you un bras et une jambe.

I found seven nights with Click&Go http://www.clickandgo.com for the sample date of September 15 staying at the Appart City Nice Acropolis Aparthotel including Ryanair flights for €933.04.

I upgraded from a camp site when I went to Cannes…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/.

Greece and Gozo

A spin around Gozo

Of course when we get older and wiser (well, at least one of us) we fall in love and get married.

In Malta (engagement) and Corfu (honeymoon).

Now in the words of Chris Tarrant, I don’t want to give you that… I want to give you this – Gozo and Halkidiki.

You’re very welcome.

Sunway http://www.sunway.ie is flagging up the less busy north of Greece as opposed to the south.

And has these deals all per person for seven nights in Halkidiki and including flights.

€399 – Alkion Hotel Room only, €445 – Lily Ann Village Half Board, €635 – Theophano Imperial Palace All Inclusive.

And Gozo, billed as how Malta used to be, although Malta as it is isn’t half bad…

Try €285 Calypso Hotel Bed & Breakfast – 4 nights, €369 Calypso Hotel Bed & Breakfast – 7 nights.

And let me give you a flavour of Gozo and Malta https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/malta-easer/.

Mid-term Spain breaks

Scenic: Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Pexels.com

And family mid-term breaks too are a thing of the past…

I’m in danger of getting nostalgic here but that quickly passes as I remember the Son and Heir ordering a T-bone steak in Majorca as a kid.

And only eating the chips!

But that’s only because I didn’t have this parenting lark sussed out, and I know you do.

TUI http://www.tuiholidays.ie have Dublin to Gran Canaria, seven nights’ self-catering, staying at the 2*+ Jardin Alantico, Playa Del Ingles for a family 2+1 from €1,599 on October 24. 

And on the same date, Dublin to Gran Canaria, seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 3* Marina Elite Resort, Balito Beach, 3*, family 2+1 from €2,479 and family 2+2 from €3,079

The Deep South

There’s a hairy little Jim waiting for the King

Cities take on a magical quality when you hear them in a pop song.

Unless it’s ‘I was sick and tired of everything when I called you last night from Glasgow.’

Sure Abba might have ‘wished it was the last show’ but Moscow rhymes too.

When I realised a lifelong dream to visit Memphis I just had to reenact every line from the Mark Cohn song in Insta.

I’m not sure though if it did the trick and my friends ‘could really feel the way I feel’.

Luxury Gold www.luxuryvacations.com does, and has a nine-day odyssey, Southern Grace, from Nashville through Memphis to New Orleans on September 27.

So you’ll be musicked out by the end of it all with Country, Elvis, Rock’n’Roll, Blues and Jazz all on the menu.

Luxury Gold offers a saving of €355 per person if booked before August 31. Was €3,525, now €3,170.

The Deep South is everything I thought it would be, and more, and I am drawn to it like a magnet.

Which is why I’m sharing my series The Three Kings on Dr Martin Luther King, BB King and Elvis here… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/elvispresley-the-king-of-kings/.

A blooming Rose

Scenes of the Rose Hotel and Tralee

She’s 60 this year… and doesn’t she look good on it?

No, not The Scary One, but The Rose of Tralee… quickly adding my devotion to my Rose of Kintbury.

So you’ll want to be there, right, for the festival from August 23-27.

The Rose Hotel offers one, two, or three-nigh breaks.

With prices from €220pps.

And you’ll likely rub shoulders with a Rose, with nightly entertainment from 9pm at Dott’s Bar.

Visit www.therosehotel.com.